New streaming service revealed

An Israel-based company that directly provides streaming games to set top boxes has claimed its service will offer publishers long-term revenue opportunities when it launches next year.

PlayCast allows modern video games to be played live via on-demand TV providers such as BT and Virgin Media, without the need for a console.

The company also claims its streaming service suffers from no latency issues.

The reaction has been very, very positive from publishers,” UK MD of PlayCast Media Russell Barash (pictured) told MCV. To them, it’s a new way to market back catalogue.

If you’re a movie studio, you have your film play in the cinemas, then three months later it’s out on DVD. Three months later again it’s on Sky Box Office, then on Sky Movies, then two years later it’s out on terrestrial. There are six or seven different windows to monetise your product.

But if you’re an EA or an Activision, you are restricted by one burst of seven or eight weeks when you release a new game in GAME or HMV before it falls off the cliff. You’ve spent millions of dollars on it, but only one real opportunity to make money back.

We allow publishers to keep that retail window, but after a few months they can put it on PlayCast a la carte.

A few months later again, it drops down another tier on our service, and later it is eventually put it in our basic package of games. We’re essentially bringing the pay TV model to games.”

However, Barash said that once this business model had proven a success, the firm would also look to launch new games ‘day and date’ – simulateneously with their retail release.

His comments come after Square Enix CEO Yoichi Wada questioned the future of console hardware in light of the rise of server-based games streaming.

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